Artist Profile: Rachel Tarinelli

Collinsville bridge by Rachel Tarinelli


Art has been one of my favorite pastimes for as long as I can remember. I don’t remember exactly when I began taking art seriously, as opposed to being just a hobby, but I can confidently say that it has been a part of me for most of, if not all of my life.

Everything an artist creates, whether it’s a doodle in the margin of a notebook or a painting that took hours, represents a part of them in some way or another.

Looking back at one’s art is equivalent to looking back at their progress. We can all make progress in terms of technical skills, whether that’s the ability to draw realistically, use proportions accurately, having sufficient knowledge of the rules of perspective, composition, or my personal favorite, figuring out how to blend graphite without relying on a blending stump (or, god forbid, a finger).

Many recognize this technical progress when they reflect on their art, but art can also be somewhat of a time capsule.

For me, looking back at past pieces, even if they’re only from a few months ago, is kind of like looking at old pictures of myself. Especially when flipping through old notebooks, I see the state of mind I may have been in that day, or whatever embarrassing phase I might have been in the midst of, reflected back at me.

That’s why at the end of each school year, sometimes I have trouble throwing all my doodled-upon papers and notebooks away (or recycling them, if I’m feeling environmentally friendly). It’s like getting rid of little pieces of my personal history.

Along with the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram comes a new wave of young artists eager to share their work. Although social media is a great way to get inspired and present art, unfortunately it also allows for ideas, themes, and styles of art can be rewritten and overdone.

It’s a shame that so many online art handles have such similar content, because artists have the power to create anything. The opportunity to bring something new to the table is one that shouldn’t be passed up.

That being said, making art with originality in mind is definitely a challenge. Lots of artists create with the intention of improving their technical skill, and serious artists should definitely put time into pieces such as realistic portraits or landscapes to focus on these skills. Outside these studies, however, unconventionality can sometimes be overlooked.

I have found that incorporating the strange and surreal into my art is refreshing; I would rather produce a piece of art that is completely weird and quirky than something that’s been done hundreds of times before.

Even outside the world of art, creativity and inventiveness is a very important and underrated skill. Oftentimes we are hesitant to stand out in fear of judgement, when in reality it sets us apart in a good way; as an individual with unique ideas and opinions.


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